Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Bitter Pill to Swallow: What Does the Pediatric Literature Say About Effective Pill-Swallowing Interventions?

By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief  

      Every one of us that sees patients comes across a child who will not take the
Amanda Mills phil.cdc.gov
medicine we prescribe or recommend—perhaps due to taste, perhaps because they cannot take a pill easily, or perhaps just to be oppositional.  We also often make recommendations to try to get children to be better at taking their medicine—but what is the evidence that what we recommend works? 

      Patel et al. (doi:10.1542/peds.2014-2114) dose out the results of a systematic review on this topic this week in our journal.  The authors look at studies over a 27 year span and sadly only find 4 cohort studies and one case series—all of which recommended a method found successful in that individual study. The fact that there may be limited generalizability of a particular intervention studied, or some potential bias in wanting an assessment to work are but some of the limitations identified in this interesting review.  So what method do you recommend? 
      Is it discussed in this study?  We want to hear from you on this review and any tricks you have found (evidence-based or anecdotal) that you can share with us by responding to this blog, sending us an e-letter or posting on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

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